Title: [Festival de la Nouvelle Chanson Catalane VI : Festival de la Nova Cançó Catalana. Interviews]
Duration: 12 min., 09 seg.
Sound collection: Radio Paris. Ramírez/del Campo
Summaries: Festival de la "nova cançó catalana" (París, febrero 1969): crónica periodística. Entrevistas a Xavier Ribalta, Francesc Pi de la Serra y Raimon
The catalogue of 'Radio París' has 6 recordings of the Catalan Nova Cançó Festival, celebrated in the Salle de la Mutuallité in Paris, on February 9th, 1969, with the interventions of Xavier Ribalta, Pi de la Serra and Raimon (See: Festival de la Nouvelle Chanson Catalane I, II, III, IV, and V).
As well as these recordings, the registers related with the Nova Cançó are multiple and assorted. There's nothing unusual about that, since most of his development took place in France, as an important cultural centre and common destination for those exiled or emigrant. But, which were its origins?
The Francoist repression was not just political. The national-catholicism affected many aspects of life, and the regional and local cultures and languages were practically outlawn. So, the Nova Cançó (also known like 'protest song', or 'author's song', controversial and reductionists terms) was born within the context of socioeconomic and generacional change that had been taking place in Spain from ends of the 50s. It was a heterogeneous phenomenon that claimed the cultural roots of the different villages, was used for social -not only political- denounce and was a way to express individual and private worries, opposite to the banality of the 'official' music of the dictatorship -represented by the 'Spanish Song'-. Among the origins, it is necessary to mention Raimon with Al vent, a song which marked a clear turning point.
Besides, on December 9th, 1961, it was celebrated in Barcelona an 'extraordinary session devoted to the Poetry of the Nova Cançó', which was a significant first step of a movement that would easily spread out from Catalonia to the whole Spanish territory, very often connected with the university life. Els Setze Jutges (The Sixteen Judges) was one of the pioneering groups, whose name -taken from a Catalan popular tong twister- already denoted a critical attitude towards the reality of its time. It had voices such as Francesc Pi de la Serra, Guillermina Motta, Joan Manuel Serrat and Lluis Llach, amongst others, and lyrics in Catalan language. Although it dissolved in 1969, its experience had a remarkable trascendence, as it shows the apparition -along the time and throughout the country- of other groups with similar characteristics. Ez Dok Amairu (There Is not Thirteen) in the Basque Country, Voices Ceibes (Free Voices) in Galicia, the Song of the Village of Castilla, The Sabandeños, or the Self-evident south Song, by only put some examples. And beside them, a big number of independent personalities, but of big influence, as Paco Ibáñez, Francisco Curto, Amancio Prada, Xabier Ribalta or José Antonio Labordeta.
Obviously, and although in Spain it took its own characteristics, the Nova Cançó was not an isolated phenomenon, as there were already clear precedents of this type of music in the U.S., France and South America during the 40s and 50s, with big development in the course of the 60s and 70s. Besides, the sources of inspiration in Spain were varied and numerous, both endogenous and exogenous and both historical and contemporary. There were also those who treated to recover the original Andalusian style and the flamenco, such as Carlos Cano and Enrique Morente. In that context, there were also theatrical initiatives such as the group “La Carraca”, founded in Paris in 1966 by Paco Ibáñez and other activists such as Joan Manuel Serrat, with the aim to recover classical works of the Spanish literature for the exiled and the Spanish emigrants in France. Which was the reaction of the Franco regime? Obviously, and despite the supposed 'opening process carried out during the 60s, it tried to limit its spreading. How? Firstly, censoring the contents of the first albums, determining if those albums were appropriate for the radio and forbidding -at the same time- most of the recitals (Raimon, Campus de Bellaterra, 1974). In any case, such musical phenomenon ended up becoming one of the main symbols of the Spanish antifranchism and the Transition.
University of Alicante. University Library. Fonoteca